Damage and stats

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Yrtalien
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Damage and stats

Postby Yrtalien » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:31 am

Hi,
Uhm the answer to this is probably pretty damn obvious but I'm gonna ask anyway. When a person takes damage to their End, Str, or Dex does it affect their actual stats... can they now lift less? Do they mess up on skill checks involving that skill more? I realize it's realistic but wow it seems like it would HURT alot!

This will be my first time running Traveller and I would appreciate any advise you all can give me. Are combats usually long drawn out affairs or do they tend to move quickly (once you've been through a few and know what you're doing that is)? What pitfalls does one encouter early on in the system and what Houserules have been adopted by many players to deal with them.

I tried searching to get some of these answers but my search foo is baaad. I ended up with a list of 40 pages that seemed to cover everything but what I was asking...
Thanks guys
Old timer
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby Old timer » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:28 am

In answer to your first question, yes, when stats go down due to damage, it gets harder to do things, it is realistic to a point, and combat should hurt. Combat can go quick in traveller if only a few characters are involved, especially if both sides are lightly armoured.
My experience of combat is after the first few fights it runs easily enough, and i generally run it as RAW. I can, if your are interested, provide a short example of how i run combats in traveller ( a simple gun fight between two antagonists, based of an actual fight in one of my games a while back)
Last edited by Old timer on Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yrtalien
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby Yrtalien » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:28 pm

It would be great if you could run through the example scenario, thank you for offering!
Old timer
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby Old timer » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:56 pm

Ok, i will post it up a little later today, happy to help :)
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby Old timer » Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:16 pm

Here it is, a short example of combat in Traveller.

The situation.
A gunfight between 'Red', a gunslinger (a career in the mercenary book for traveller) and Jake, an ex-navy man and drifter.

Red has the following attributes and skills (only relevant to this situation though)

8A8766
Skills
Gun combat (slug pistols) 2, athletics (coordination) 1

Jake
989877
Skills
Gun combat (Energy pistols)1, Gun combat (energy rifles) 1, athletics (coordination) 1

A little back ground first.
Both of the above have been having a 'strong' debate in a seedy little bar in a star port, and Red, being a little hot headed takes offence at Jakes statements, and falls back on her standard behaviour when insulted, or for that matter, in any situation, and goes for her guns.
As this situation has just got violent , it’s time to roll initiative. In traveller , Initiative is rolled on 2d6, modified by the characters DM for their attribute, so in this case Red has a +1 for her high DEX, whilst Jake has no modifier to his roll.

Initiative rolls.
Jake rolls 9 on 2d6
Red rolls 6, plus her +1 for a total of 7.

Red has a gauss pistol and wears cloth armour, and Jake has a laser pistol and also wears cloth armour.
Jake, seeing Red going for her gun, decides that he is just to close and dives for cover whilst drawing his laser pistol (The drawing of his pistol is a minor action, and his other action, significant as traveller calls it, is to dive for cover) diving for cover is 'dodging' and as he will end up in cover, so following the traveller rules, his initiative will be reduced by -1 next round, but Red will have a -2DM to hit him, for the dodge into cover. This action has also put Jake about 3 metres from Red, which in traveller is close range. (In range combat, each range band will provide a modifier to each shot, either no modifier when fired in the weapons optimal ranges, or negative if beyond optimal, as an example, pistols have no mod at close or short range, and -2 at medium range)
Red now acts, she draws her gauss pistol as her minor action, and shoots at Jake as her significant action. Her modifiers are her skill, which gives her +2, her DEX that gives her +1, but Jakes dodge and being in cover also applies a -2, so her DM for the roll is +1.
Reds (player) roll is abysmal, 2D6 comes up a 6, and adding the +1DM, a total of 7. As in traveller 8 or more is needed to succeed any roll, that is a miss, so her round hits the wall behind Jake.
That is the first round of combat over, other patrons in this bar are at this moment are either running out of the bar or finding cover from the fire fight that just broke out.

Round 2.
Initiative in traveller is dynamic, it is modified each round by a player/characters actions, as Jake dived for cover, his initiative is reduce by 1, so becomes 8 for this round. Reds initiative stays at 7.
Jake takes aim (his minor action) and then fires at Red. Red can always react, so she dives for cover herself, she is hot headed but not stupid. This will apply the -2DM to Jakes attack roll.
Jake (player) rolls the dice, getting a really good roll of 11 on them. To this his added his skill, +1, and his aim bonus, also +1, for a total of 13. This is reduced by the -2DM from Reds dive, and leaves 11. This is a hit despite Reds dive (any roll of 8 or higher is a success in traveller).
The damage of the laser pistol, Jakes old but reliable TL11 model is 3d6+3, and this is further modified by the 'effect' of Jakes roll. The 'effect' is simple how much Jake rolled over 8 on his hit roll, so as his final modified roll was 11, that was an effect of 3, so the total damage roll to Red will be 3d6+6. Jakes player rolls and gets a total of 16.
Red is wearing some armour though, so the damage is reduced by its value (5) leaving her to take 11 points of damage. All damage is taken from endurance first (the third number in her attribute line, 8) and then from either her strength (first number) or her dexterity (second number).
So the damage of 11 reduces her endurance to 0, and she decides the rest can go reduce her strength, so that drops to 5. Red is hurt, and hurt bad, but is not yet out of the fight, and being a stubborn *****, she switches her pistol to auto fire mode (her minor action) and fires back (her significant action) despite her injury.
Red rolls a 5 though, and with the same mods as last round, plus an extra -1 for her diving for cover, she misses, her burst tearing up the table Jake is behind, but not hitting him at all.

Round 3.
Jake initiative resets back to 9 as he has done nothing other than aim and fire, Reds initiative is reduce by 1 for her dive, so is now 6, so Jakes goes first again.
He repeats what he did last round, aims and fires at Red, seeking to end the fight in this shot. Red reacts again, dodging into her cover, which gives Jake a -2 DM for the dodge into cover, and also an extra -1 for the cover she is already in (over turned tables) for a total of -3DM to Jakes roll.
He rolls a 10 on the dice, which with his mods of +2 (his skill and aim) but the -3DM above, means the total is 9, so hits Red again. The damage rolls is 3d6+4 this time (the effect of his roll was 1, so that is added to the damage) for a roll of 12 on the dice, plus 4, the total is 16.
Reds armour reduces this by 5, leaving her to take 11 points, which any way you look at it is going to reduce one of her remaining physical attributes to zero. Reds strength is dropped to zero by 5 of the damage, and the rest (6) comes off her dexterity leaving that at 4. With two of her physical attributes reduced to zero, she is unconscious, seriously wounded by Jakes last shot and crash down to the floor. Jake decides this would be a good time to leave the bar before security turns up, and leaves Red to whatever fate awaits her.

That is all there is to traveller combat, in short, you just have to remember the DM (dice mods) and also be aware that it can be very deadly. Hopefully this was clear and that my maths adds up :)
iainjcoleman
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby iainjcoleman » Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:38 am

Old Timer's example is a good illustration of how Traveller combat goes. It's fast and deadly. Getting shot at is something you really, really want to avoid. It's much like real life in that respect.

The only comment I would make on the example above is that it's a bit unusual, in my experience, in that it's a straight-up fair fight between two more-or-less evenly matched opponents. Generally speaking, this only happens if someone screws up (in this case, the bold Red). If one group with automatic weapons gets the drop on another group by dint of surprise or ambush, it's going to be a short and one-sided combat.

That's something to bear in mind when you're running the game: your players will want to (or should be encouraged to) be as clever as they can about when to get into combat and when to avoid it, and you should take care to only have your players ambushed by a bunch of guys with gauss rifles if you want to knock off early and go to the pub while your players all generate new characters.

The original designer of Traveller, Marc Miller, is a veteran of the Vietnam war. Although other great designers have developed their versions of Traveller since, a certain realism about the wisdom and likely consequences of firefights still runs through Traveller's DNA.
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby locarno24 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:36 am

If one group with automatic weapons gets the drop on another group by dint of surprise or ambush, it's going to be a short and one-sided combat.
Definitely concur.
An autocarbine is a essentially SMG/MP5/P90 style weapon - something more than a pistol but distinctly less than an assault rifle.

Aiming then opening up with a 4-round burst means +1 to hit from aiming, probably another +2 from gun combat skills and/or DEX for a military-trained character.

That gives you an average effect (the amount you beat the target of 8) of +2. Added to that, a burst increases the damage you do by the Auto value (in this case 4). This means that you're doing a total of 3D6+4 damage, or an average of 14-15.

Given that each player stat is essentially a 2D6 roll, it's normally going to be about 7, meaning that 14-15 damage is going to take out your END and either leave you unconcious or take half each of your STR and DEX. Either way, you will not survive a second hit.


Unless battle dress or similar 'walking tank' armour gets involved, a gunfight is very fast and very, very deadly. The other thing to bear in mind is that unlike other RPGs (such as one featuring basements and winged lizards) there is essentially no difference between PCs and NPCs in fighting prowess. I second iainjcoleman's point that if you put players in a 'fair' fight, someone in the party is ending up either dead or in intensive care.

If in doubt, remember the advice of the V.C.s from 2000AD: "You're hit, you're dead!"
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby Egil Skallagrimsson » Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:08 pm

Old timer wrote: she switches her pistol to auto fire mode (her minor action) and fires back (her significant action) despite her injury.
Red rolls a 5 though, and with the same mods as last round, plus an extra -1 for her diving for cover, she misses, her burst tearing up the table Jake is behind, but not hitting him at all.
Not sure if there is a local variation here, but presumably you mean she switches her pistol to burst fire, as in the next sentance? If auto fire, she would get to roll 4 dice, so increasing her chances of getting at least one hit (and using 12 rounds, and taking a higher recoil). I would also count changing type of fire as a free action. Considering how things turned out, full auto might have been a better choice for Red!

Egil
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Old timer
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby Old timer » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:42 am

Yes, it should be burst fire. So many games, all with different terms for firing more than one shot, sometimes mix my descriptive terms up.
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:18 pm

Yrtalien wrote:When a person takes damage to their End, Str, or Dex does it affect their actual stats... can they now lift less? Do they mess up on skill checks involving that skill more?
Yes. And don't forget to adjust the characteristic modifiers afterwards if needed.
mr31337
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby mr31337 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:43 pm

I've made some house rules for hit location. My Hit location house rules determines which stats take damage (in a certain order according to the location), in this way I have made all stats damageable in combat. Also ruled that Int and End reduced to zero means death, Edu at zero means unconscious. Int and End are never the first stats to be reduced by damage in any location.

The net result is somewhat deadlier combat for head and body hits and much less lethal for limb hits while staying as close as possible to CRB combat. Overall it seems quite balanced and adds a degree of realim. Since it is possible to lose points from all stats it actually isn't much more deadly than normal combat unless very accurate enemies are calling head shots. Also, armour has to be considered in a given location. Helmets seem like a good idea now, funny that. :P

I also used effect from an attack roll to modify the hit location closer to centre mass of whatever body mass/part is being targeted. IE: a headshot with a good effect moves the location closer to the nose. A non specific shot with good effect moves location closer to the chest ...and so on. In this way a good shooter can get good grouping!

I made a table for it, but had problems pasting the table formating here so I gave up. If anybody is really interested I can find a way to share. I expect most won't be interested in this idea as it isn't very "Traveller", I won't disagree.
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby LegendaryJWP » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:48 pm

mr31337 wrote:I made a table for it, but had problems pasting the table formating here so I gave up. If anybody is really interested I can find a way to share. I expect most won't be interested in this idea as it isn't very "Traveller", I won't disagree.
I am most assuredly interested in seeing what you've got, and your post inspires me to make some other changes to the system that aren't very Traveller, but would make me happy.
mr31337
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby mr31337 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:51 pm

LegendaryJWP wrote:I am most assuredly interested in seeing what you've got, and your post inspires me to make some other changes to the system that aren't very Traveller, but would make me happy.
Here we go then, let me know how you get on with them. :)

Mongoose Traveller Hit Location House Rules.pdf
LegendaryJWP
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby LegendaryJWP » Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:30 pm

mr31337 wrote:
LegendaryJWP wrote:I am most assuredly interested in seeing what you've got, and your post inspires me to make some other changes to the system that aren't very Traveller, but would make me happy.
Here we go then, let me know how you get on with them. :)

Mongoose Traveller Hit Location House Rules.pdf
I definitely like where you went with the d66 hit table. SJ Games did something similar with GURPS, in their Low Tech rules, where an arm hit or leg hit is now broken down by an additional d6 roll for specific location, and other locations can lead to hits in vitals with a roll of 1 on an additional d6.
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby mr31337 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:29 pm

LegendaryJWP wrote:I definitely like where you went with the d66 hit table. SJ Games did something similar with GURPS, in their Low Tech rules, where an arm hit or leg hit is now broken down by an additional d6 roll for specific location, and other locations can lead to hits in vitals with a roll of 1 on an additional d6.
Well spotted. I drew inspiration from GURPS d66 hit locations, just jiggled the rolls around so that effect resulted in a more central hit, or a bad effect moved the shot away from the centre mass. I wanted to keep the feel of Mongoose Traveller. Combat remains much the same as it always was, just two extra dice. Simples!
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:09 am

mr31337 wrote:Int and End are never the first stats to be reduced by damage in any location.
Ok, Darth Vader. ;)
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby mr31337 » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:59 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
mr31337 wrote:Int and End are never the first stats to be reduced by damage in any location.
Ok, Darth Vader. ;)
You've lost me there!
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Re: Damage and stats

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Wed Nov 28, 2012 2:04 am

mr31337 wrote:
ShawnDriscoll wrote:
mr31337 wrote:Int and End are never the first stats to be reduced by damage in any location.
Ok, Darth Vader. ;)
You've lost me there!
Just beat a guy senseless until he has only INT and END left. See DV near volcano.

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